So I finally got around to buying a bike. I’m a huge pedestrian/transit fan, and biking seemed like the next logical step. I wanted to write this post to share some of thoughts from my first day riding.
- Riding home I was originally scared shitless. Having really haven’t ridden a bike since I was in college, and never haven ridden in a big city street setting, I was quite nervous on the way home. Don’t get me wrong, Chicago has bike lanes on all the major roads to give me some breathing space. But until you cruise down S. Western with traffic zipping by at or around the 35 mph speed limit, its hard to prepare yourself. Read More…
Update to our friend from the last post. Apparently this time he’s been nabbed for being a little more than slightly aggressive. I wonder if this is representative of the other 178 arrests, or if this is rare and he’s more or less getting slaps on the wrist for just simply panhandling on the CTA?
Frankly, I’m not sure what to make of this article. First a few highlights for those who don’t like to read:
1) Clarence Ervin is a known panhandler on the Lake Street Elevated portion of the Green Line
2) This man has been arrested 178 Times (not all for panhandling).
3) Charges have been dropped around 130 Times
4) He’s been charged about 25% of time (often without him present)
5) Some Riders are scared of him, some are not
6) He averages about $55 a day panhandling.
Like I said, I’m not sure where to begin. Do we blame him? Do we blame the police and court system? Do we blame Veteran’s Affairs? Should I get into panhandling? Do we blame those who keep giving him money? Do we blame the CTA?
An article from the Chicago Tribune prompted this. In short, The Active Transportation Alliance (note: I’m doing this from memory since their website is down), a pro bike/foot/bus/train organization is encouraging residents to post a flyer on neighbor’s doors of those who shovel snow or who do not. I don’t need to lecture anyone here on the issues involving uncleared sidewalks, but I definitely grumble and I definitely remember those who don’t shovel. As an active jogger and car independent person, I constantly rely on sidewalks, and more importantly, clear sidewalks for my livelihood.
Now since I cover a lot of sidewalk in my average week, I do certainly notice the routine offendors who don’t shovel. Instead of a flier approach that Active Transportation takes, I do a few things:
1) If I’m out jogging/walking and I actively see somebody shoveling, I say “thanks for shoveling!” in passing.
2) Businesses that do not shovel will never, ever see a dollar of my business. For example, Niko’s Gyros will never see me as a customer, in winter or any season. Resurrection Health, St. Elizabeth Hospital’s physician offices on Western Ave will never see me pay a visit (oddly, the actual hospital’s campus was fine).
3) When it comes to residents who don’t shovel, there’s really only one thing I do: dump my cigarette buts in your treelawn. Two doors down from me is a newer 2-unit condo building. I have seen the residents, they both appear young and able, thus no excuses to clear the sidewalks. Lights are also constantly on, so I know they’re around. I hope they enjoy the tens of hundreds of cigarette butts they find in their tree-lawn come the spring thaw.
Am I little out of line on this? Perhaps, its still littering at the heart of it, but my small little social deviation brings me a smug sense of satisfaction.
Just a heads up to those who care. My favorite band and my aforementioned band of the decade, announced a US tour yesterday. This coincides with their new album Transference, which hits stores January 18th. Find your city and go! go! go! Tickets for me, go to sale on January 23rd. Adding Deerhunter to the lineup doesn’t hurt either. As for the other band, Micachu & the Shapes, I can’t say I’m familiar, but I guess I’ll find out. Find your date below!
In response, or rather in the spirit of Ben’s Post/Chris’ List, I’m going to rattle off my top 10 albums of the last decade. Not because I think my list is any better. We are all adults here (mostly) and we all recognize people have different tastes in music. Its unlikely I would criticize anyone’s top ten list, unless it included Lady Gaga or something. I feel like I should also add, that if you ask me a week from today, or a three days ago, this list would probably be different. I tried to do this as quickly as possible. I’m sure there will be a few that forget, but its not like anyone will really be judging me for this…I hope.
Jimsey Made This!
In lieu of our timbit freezing temperatures, we’re going to roll some filler footage. Hearken back to the worry and glove free days of Fall! Just a short 40-some days ago I took a trip up to Bohemian National Cemetery. Situated on the north side of Chicago, in an area that was previously in the boonies some 100+ years ago, the BNC provides a resting place for many of the early Eastern European immigrants. Apparently a big meanie head catholic priest was denying some of the Bohemians for whatever reason. So some Bohemians got together and started their own non-religious cemetery. Yes, that is my summary of two websites apparently designed by someone with Geopages and FrontPage (Friends of the BNC).
Anyway, I like these older cemeteries for two reasons 1) The lost art of stonecutting, marble cutting or whatever you call it. Gravestones, let alone anything, just aren’t made with this level of skill and care anymore. I like to think of many of these as outdoor musuems or sculpture gardens, which brings me to my second point 2) Many of the older (late 19th Century) cemeteries that I’ve met in my life are intentionally designed as a park like setting. Its a beautiful park that just happens to be full of dead people.
Anyway, here’s the link to the full set. And here’s a few snippets.
Jimsey Made This!
Today’s topic is EveryBlock. Currently available in 15 US cities (sorry Canada).
While the Chicago PD site incorporated crime and reporting data wonderfully, EveryBlock attempts to pull quite a few more sources together. EveryBlock themselves divides this information primarily into four sections: Civic, News & Blogs, Fun from the Web (Craig’s, Yelp, Flickr, etc.) & Announcements.
Information is gathered and grouped on the usual suspect levels: Address (radius based), Zip or Neighborhood. If you’ll observe the attached screenshot of the drop down, you’ll see quite a few areas that information can appear in. You can mainly view the information in a day-by-day log, or click “overview” to fetch the latest tidbits for all the categories. Personally this guy with two thumbs prefers the overview.